The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Book of Esther
The third day came, and Esther put on her royal robes; and, so clad, made her appearance before the king’s palace, within the royal (that is, the inner) court. There sat the king on his throne, in the palace council chamber, facing the main door;
he saw Esther, his queen, standing there without, and the sight of her won his heart. Out went the golden sceptre he bore, and as she drew near to kiss the tip of it,
Why, Esther, said he, what is thy errand? Ask me for half my kingdom, and it is thine.
My lord king, she answered, do me the honour of dining with me to-day; I have a feast prepared; and bring Aman with thee.
The king, without more ado, had Aman summoned to wait, there and then, on Esther’s pleasure; and both of them went to the feast she had prepared.
Deep drank the king that day, and said to Esther, What wouldst thou? Tell me what thy desire is? Be it half my kingdom, it shall not be denied thee.
What would I have? said she. I ask no more than this;
since the king’s grace is ready to humour my whim, to grant me what I ask, do me the favour to dine with me to-morrow, and Aman with thee; then I will make known to the royal ear what my request is.
A proud man was Aman that day, and he went home treading on air. But Mardochaeus still sat at the palace door; rise up he would not, nor stir from his post. And Aman, seeing it, fell into a rage.
He gave no mark of it then, but when he reached home he called all his friends about him, and his wife Zares among them,
and opened his mind. He recounted to them how great his wealth was, how many children were his, what honour the king had done him by promoting him to be the chief of all his nobles and courtiers.
More, he said; it was but this day queen Esther gave the king a banquet, and would have me and none other for his fellow-guest; to-morrow I must dine with her again, with the king present.
All this is mine, he said, and all this is nothing to me, while I yet see Mardochaeus sitting there at the palace gate.
But they had a remedy for this, his wife Zares and those friends of his. Have a gallows made, fifty cubits high, so that tomorrow thou canst bid the king have Mardochaeus hanged on it. Then thou mayst go light-hearted enough, to feast with the king. This counsel Aman liked well, and he gave his men orders to have a high gallows in readiness.
The Holy Bible